Brexit and Lower Mortgage Rates
Mortgage rates fell this week to a level not seen since May 2013, as the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union shocked financial markets already unsettled by mixed reports about the U.S. economy.
The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.61% from 3.73%, according to Bankrate’s survey of large lenders. A year ago, it was 4.19%. Four weeks ago, the rate was 3.81%.
The mortgages in this week’s survey had an average total of 0.24 discount and origination points. Over the past 52 weeks, the 30-year fixed has averaged 3.94%. This week’s rate is 0.33 percentage points lower than the 52-week average. The last time the 30-year fixed was lower was May 8, 2013, when it stood at 3.6%. It rose half a percentage point, to 4.1%, just 4 weeks later.
The benchmark 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 2.89% from 2.97%.
The benchmark 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 3.01% from 3.06%.
The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage fell to 3.67% from 3.71%.
30-year fixed: 3.61%
Low rates could spur more home purchases this summer, even though home prices have been rising and buyers have lower inventories of homes for sale.
Sales of existing homes “sprang ahead” in May to the highest annualized pace — 5.53 million, since February 2007 — according to the National Association of Realtors.
Also in May, the median nationwide home sales price rose to an all-time high of $239,700 and the supply of existing homes for sale dropped to 4.7 months at the then-current pace of sales. A supply of less than 6 months is generally believed to signal a sellers’ market.
Homes typically sold in just 32 days in May, which is the shortest days-on-the-market figure since NAR started to track that stat 5 years ago.